tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 21, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
reconfigure the middle east and our position in its is in shambles. much of what has happened seems irreversible. might be done but probably won't be. to begin, if we're at all honest, we must admit it is a deplorable state of affairs in the middle east, egypt, iraq, israel, jordan, lebanon, serbian , syria, the gulf and arabian peninsula, afghanistan. it is a product not only of the dynamic turnovers region but also of the lapse of in our capacity to think and act strategicically. we have answered the end of the bi polar cold war order with a mixture of denial, strategic incoherence and inconsistency.
false american asumps and objectives have helped create the current mess in the middle east. it is not news to anybody that american politics is uncivil and dysfunctional. we have a foreign policy elite that has its head up its media bubble. prefers narratives to evidence-based analysis. confuses sanctions and military postureing with diplomacy. and imagines that the best way to deal with hateful foreigners is to use air-born robots to kill them, their friends and their families. we have leaders who can't lead and a legislature that can't legislate. in short, we have a government that can't make relevant decisions, fund their implement akseation and lift allies to support them or see them through. until we get our act together at home, these looking for american
leadership abroad will be disappointed. at west point, president obama accurately pointed out that our military has no fear. he then added that u.s. military action cannot be the only or primary come meant to our leadership in every instance. just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. true enough. has justified the use of force. our hammer blows in the middle east were intended to showcase our power. instead, they convincingly demonstrated its limitations. these interventions worsened, not improved the region's stability, politics and prospects. our unmatched military prowess has not enabled us to impose our will in west as i yarks eastern
africa. solving political problems in all of these regions has been no better the question then is what alternatives do to the military hammer and related instruments does the u.s. presidency now have? normally the answer would be the political screwdriver of diplomacy. for other mean s of influence like subsecond-degreies. there is a reason that the depts of state is the smallest and -- department of state and s the smallest and weakest department of our government. the united states seldom resorts to diplomacy in resolving major differences with other states. gladiators trump diplomats any time in terms of the spectacle they provide. even if they don't work, coercive measures like sanctions and bomb arrange much more
immediately satisfying emotional than the long slog of diplomacy. then too, we are broke. our military commanders have walking around money. our diplomats do not. and the amateurism innernt the spoil system further reduces the effectiveness of our diplomacy. jet propelled seast pants drop bies with foreign leaders by secretaries of state have proven to be no substitute for strategy or the cultivation of influence with those leaders. it is hard to think of any american project in the middle east that is not at a dead end. this included our policies toward israel and palestine, democracy promotion, egypt, islamist terrorism, stability in caressn't iran and
the gulf. let me quickly run through that list. in april, our four-decade long attempt to broker a secure jewish state in the middle east puttered to a disgraceful end. the final phase turnover peace rocess, instead of -- of mediating, the united states negotiated with israel, not with the palestinians about self-determination. the u.s. efforts brothering for peace for israel is not just dead, but so putrid, it is not sufficient to show at a wake. israel did not believe in it so it killed it, may it rest in peace. israel used the process as a distraction while it created -- on the ground in the form of illegal settlements. related policies have made
israel's peaceful co-existence with the palestinians and arab neighbors impossible. the united states created the moral hazard that enabled izz trial put itself in this ultimately untenable position. 40 years aimed at achieving regional and international acceptance for israel produced the very opposite. increasing international isolation and a program for the jewish state. we will now cover israel's back as the saying goes as the united nations has its ongoing maltreatment and intermittant muggings of its captive arab population complete its international ostracism. we'll pay a heavy political price for this. globally in the middle east. nd very likely in escalating terrorism abroad and at home.
it may inspire a sense of honor but it more closely resembles assisted suicide than a strategy for survival of israel and our information to the middle east. americans like to have a moral foundation for foreign policy. for all of our policies. in the middle east and not just with respect to israel. the geology has proven too complex to allow such a foundation. to our professed desire promote democracy. in practice, the united states has made a real effort of temperaturetizing countries it -- democktizing countrys it has invaded or those that it espises like iran. when democratic elections yield governments to which our allies object, as in algeria, palestine
and egypt, washington contrives their overthrow and replacement by congenial despots. if democracy the message, democracy is not now its prophet. it has appeased israel and our friends in the arab gulf but greatly tarnished our claims to seriousness about our values. it has produced no democracies, but it has pulled down several before they had a chance to take root. egypt is a days in point. after raising hope s of a democratic era of awakening and electing an incomp at the present time islamist government, egypt is now an economically sinking military dictatorship distinguished from iran theistheis only
tyrannies. -- -- >> there is not much we can do bout this. america's arab gulf partners are committed to military dictatorship and suppression of islamism in egypt. it is hard to think of a place where there is a starker continue addition between american ideals, commitments to client states and interests in precluding the spread of terrorism than in contemporary egypt. it is attempting to conclude if we're going to be hard-headed realist, we should just skip the offputting hypocrisy about democracy and human rights and get on with it. that seems to be what we intend. how else is one to interpret the president's professional for multiple partnerships with the region's security forces to suppress islamist terrorism.
oday's egypt is the regional cooperation in such repression. we have another model in mind? it is not apparent. leaving in outlet for peaceful descent, israel is encouraging part of its majority toward violent politics. it is true, of course that, egypt is not the only incubator for such enemies of america. americans went abroad in search of monsters to destroy. we sfound them and bred more. some have already followed us home. others are no doubt on their way. that's why we have an expanding garrison state in this country. our counterterrorism programs meanwhile are everywhere
nurturing a passion for revenge against united states. we gave a big boost to the spread of islamist terrorism hen we envaded iraq. our stated purpose was to deny weapons of mass destruction that idn't exist to prorses terrorists who were not there. we then thoukt we might as well onduct the hit-and-run democratization. not only did that not work, it set off a religious war that ultimately gave birth to the jihaddist if an that straddles the border. what we did in iraq as a result of breaking it into three pieces, now in practice, we seem to be working on the rest of the
event. israel is gnawing away at what remain s of palestine. the transnational coalition of jihaddists is vive secting syria and iraq. with our help, syria is burning, charring lepp lebanon and scorching jordan as it does. the kurds are making their escape from the existing state structures. the syrian government loathes it. we fear, or hope if it is defeated, it could be replaced by more frightful people. bombing can't prevent this. we propose to arm the force of mythical syrian moderates. we expect this latest coalition of the billing to fight the syrian government and its pponents by of while note play refraining from making common
cause with the latter. sounds like a plan for passifying capitol hill if not syria. if our object sieve to keep syria in flames, it is a plausible plan. perhaps that is what we really want. it is a grain on iran which we have identified as our main enemy in the region. destabilizing syria arguably teased the pressure on iran. iran's sleersd said they don't want because it would be sinful. our frequent threats to bomb iran seem to be a clever test of its leaders moral integrity. if we give them every reason we can think of for them to build a nuclear deterrent, will they still not do it? judging from friday's news, this experiment will go on for at least another four months.
this brings me to a key point in policy difficulty. we have repeatedly told people in the middle east that they must either be with us or against us. they remain annoyingly unreliable in this record. iran's ayatollahs are against us in syria, lebanon and bahrain but with us in afghanistan and iraq. he assad regime in hezbollah oppose us in syria and lebanon but are on our side in iraq. the jihadis are with us in syria but against us in iraq and elsewhere. israel's government is with us on iran but against us in blocking palestinian self-determination and favoring it for the occurreds. -- kurds. saudi arabia is against us in
iraq. they were for us in egypt. it is against jihaddistan in the fertile caressn't but nobody can figure out where it stands elsewhere. how can you have a coherent policy in the middle east when the people there o so inconsistent? i think it is is that outsiders can't manage the middle east and shouldn't try. it is time to let the countries in the region accept responsibility for what they do rather than act in such a way as to free them to behave irresponsibly. it is time to recognize that the united states can't solve the israel/palestine issue. can no longer protect israel from the international legal and political consequence s of its morally deviant behavior and has nothing to gain and a great deal to lose by continuing to be identified by that behavior and we pay for gaza.
israel make it own decisions without regard to american interests, values or advice. i think it would make better decisions if it were not shielded from their consequence or if it had to pay for them itself. america should cut the um bill cuss and let israel be israel. it is time the united states stop assigning to the rule of law of human rights in the middle east. we support their anythingation in egypt. nd -- negation in egypt. clearly u.s. policy is almost entirely about interest. not values. if if that is the case, let's not violate our laws by dishonestly claiming that is there have been in misuses of american weaponry by israel nooned coups in egypt.
we should not have thrause equire us to be -- if the real interest in the united states and syria relate to iran and its conflict of interest with israel and saudi arabia as well as to our new cold war with russia, let's admit that and behave accordingly. this would mean acting the farcical -- of the geneva conflict on syria. that excluded key parties. not a serious effort to bring peace. only if we include all of the parties engaged in proxy wars in syria including can we hope to end the mass murder there. i would say the same thing is true of the situation in gaza. it cannot be included in all
parties including talking to hamas. it is true in syria, not just for humanitarian reasons, compelling as those are, ending for both syria and iraq is the key. we should not be uping the ante in syria by pumping in more weapons, many which are likely to end up in jihadi hands. we should try to end fighting there and focusesing on eventing the merge ens of an expanding terrorist bastion that will serve as a homeland for the rowing number of enraged muslims. the jihaddistan calling itself the islamic state is a menace to both iran and saudi arabia. as well as to us.
distasteful as they might find it to work with each other, iran and saudi arabia have a common interest to discover. the new state was born of political rivalry between jihad and tehran and it can bonl contain tpwhared cooperation. depending on how u.s./iran relations develop, america might be able to help them do this. but if the united states and iran remain enemies, the obvious alternative for the united states would be to accept the inevitability of an expanded dominated state that will replace much of the current political geography of the region, to work with saudi arabia, to tame extremist tend sis within such a state and to yoke it to balance iran. any and all of these approaches would demand a level of
diplomatic sophistication, imagination and skill that the united states has not displayed in recent years. the more likely outcome of our current blend of baffled hesitancy, diplomatic innocent -- tude and militarism is ineptitude and militarism. a political exflotion egypt, if disintegration of iraq, jordan, lebanon and syria along with palestine and the diversion of a considerable part of the resource s of these countries to terrorism in the region and against american homeland. we can and should do better than this. [applause]
>> i would like to thank speakers and ask if there are any questions? i would like to start with a couple of questions. remarkably in the stack of thereons i've been given, is no question about iraq. so maybe we could start there. you spoke about missed opportunities. what do you think we could have done if anything in iraq to get a better outcome than the one we have now? for example, do you think a greater effort would have left americans there to strain iraqi security forces and paul, maybe you can comment. i hope we get a cross talk here
among all the panelists. everyone can respond to these questions, but paul, you questioned the labels we put on people when we call people partners or call people foes. is the nouri al-maliki regime really a reliable partner for the united states? >> i'm going answer your question in a way you hasn't intended. i think the mistakes that we ade are too many to mention. i have been turned off by the blame game that's currently going on in washington. i think the obama administration's iraq policy ask dreadful and i think the bush administration's policy was dreadful. both of them contributed to the current state of affairs in significant ways. each time i find a mistake that obama made there is an anti-seed theant bush made and every time there was a good move that one
made you can trace it to the move the other made. unfortunately the latter are far fewer than the former. there are great lessons in iraq. where i would like to see us focusing more energy on the questions what lessons we should be learning opposed to who was mistaken and who should be blamed for the current impasse. i think one of the greatest lessons was that whenever we take on a problem, anywhere in the world, but certainly in the middle east, whenever we plan for the best, we get the worst. and when we plan for the worst, we often do better than that. sometimes we even get the best. the 1991 gulf war comes to mind as an instance where you had a very conservative small sea of leadership. the plan for all contingencies did quite well. obviously it was not a perfect well. there was unfinished business --
perfect war. there was unfinished business there as well. this is one of the issues that i've seen time and again with american approaches to the middle east, which is what i've consistently seen from american policy makers is a sense that the middle east is just too hard. it is a mess. we don't understand it. what can we do to just push it on to the back burner and mover to something else we understand and might be able to solve. of course the middle east doesn't go away. it ain't las vegas. whapts there doesn't stay there. -- what happens there doesn't stay there. i would like to see us making more of an effort. not necessarily across the board. i don't agree with paul or ambassador freeman. i think there are issues that it is best we keep our noses out of. where the issues matter and where they affect our interests, i think one of the greatest mistakes we have made is to try to put a band-aid on things and
walk away. the problems of the middle east don't lend themselves to that. >> tom, prime minister maliki is an excellent example of what i was talking about before in making policy to our customary maliki and division between good guys and bad guy. and what chas freeman was talking about and how players in the region so inconveniently don't fit into those two bin s of being for us or against us. mr. maliki is for himself and doing his best to try to have a third term as prime minister. of course that's what most palestinians aim for, to stay into power. one might add if one had the larger interest of iraq at heart, he could -- as a very statesman like thing step down in favor of someone else. he has a very narrow view of what democracy, if you can still
call it that, entails, which shia and the majority and the shiite rule and i'm the ruler to have shiites. there is no question that his very narrow view of how it ought to work has badly antagonized the great majority of the sunni iraqi arabs. it is not just isis that has been able to score those gains in the west. it has been because turnover much broader disillusionment with the regime. in all of those senses he is not a very good partner at all, which isn't to say we should continue the business with him. he sf he continues as prime minister, we will have to do business with him. what we have to keep foremost in mind is that the united states does not have an interest in taking sides or being seen to take sides in sectarian disputes and conflicts in this region.
>> i think even if those disputes weren't sectarian, that would be a case. there is a convenient narrative now in washington if maliki could be disposed u of, things would get better in iraq. we have heard that before in south vietnam. what we have learned from our own malpractice in that area, to use -- to go back to the hippocratic oath, which is not a bad bit of advice. perhaps as lincoln said changing horses in midstream is not wise. it is more likely to cause more problems than it is to solve. that is not the solution for iraq if indeed there is a solution for iraq, if indeed there is an iraq because it turns out that in our eagerness for regime change, we manage regime removal but no change. it turns out that in trying to change the regime, we destroyed
the state in iraq. and it seems at the moment, as i said that the kurds are busy making their way for the exit. secretary kerry i think correctly stood for the territorial integrity of iraq and advised against that. prime minister netanyahu made it clear he thinks they ought to leave and would be happy to see iraq broken up and i think the kurds are going to do what they want to do and i don't think they are going to listen to us or the israelis or anybody else. we have a problem. we now have something that has many of the at butze of the state that is -- attributes of the state that is run by extremists. i think that is the main issue. it is also the case that the shia, not withstanding mr.
maliki'ses a operations to lead them all, are divide and they may end up being two states among the shia rather than just one if iraq indeed goes the way it seems to be going, which is toward partition, and that, by the way, i will say is not an impossible outcome in afghanistan either, after our departure. so i think we need to be a bit cautious. final observation, what we can learn from the gulf war and the iraq war, gulf war to liberate kuwait and the war to subgeographicate iraq is something very simple. we should not intervene without a war termination strategy. how are you going to end it? it is not enough to get up on air aircraft carrier and proclaim mission accomplished. wars don't end until defeat is
admitted. e proposed no terms to saddam. he therefore cheated and retreated. he had no commitment to it. we had nobody left in baghdad to surrender. after we took place. we need -- before we start intervening in places like syria nd libya and iraq, we should think what's the end game? how does it end? we should always be asking the question, and then what? and we don't ask that question. that gets us into trouble. >> just very briefly, for us, iraq is a very open wound. there are a lot of marines and other service members who have me out and when they look at today h, the ways the
andsee what they did to secure it. there is a lot of questions. that will catch up with us as a nation. i'll say sthrs a lot of talk -- there is a lot of talk about the state. i'm trying to use my academic side. i don't know. maybe somebody here, because of the state of n the middle east is changing fundamentally. when i say we, i don't mean the u.s. alone. europeans, the west, looks at everything -- the state as a holy grail, you should touch it but everything works within that state concept because our o ional system is based upon state as failure.
that is shifting under our noses fundamentally. i'm not saying because of the islamic state or whatever they want to call it. that is a manifestation. even within the states that we lot t, i can go on the a of them. these states. we still treat them as if they have the same attributes that we believe exist or that we normally work through. i think one way to look at this part of world is to try to sometimes our models -- if the model looks like the model, let's not change reality. let's change the model sometimes. i think that is an idea that it is a long-term again. it is not immediate. to think about the concept of state and it works and how it is actually shifting. the concept of state in some european states is diminishing.
we have to at least academically try to start thinking about that. i think that would behoove us to be prepared when the state looks like things that we have no idea what they are. then we call them failed states. they may not be failed. they may work very well. not within the system we have in place, but they may work very well. i'm just saying that things are going to shift. thank you. >> ok. let me follow up with really in the same vein as the last question. if there is something that we could have done in syria to avert the situation as it exists now. again, a missed opportunity is something you spoke about ken. should we have insisted on a safe zone or a no-fly zone and more importantly, what can we do
now? in your foreign affairs article, you spoke about training moderate opposition to the asad regime. i believe chaz was saying he doesn't think that is a possibility. can you elaborate on that and again, other comments please? >> sure. thank you, tom. first, i'll start off by saying that for several years i was quite ambivalent about what we should be doing in syria because on the one hand, what was going on in syria is a tragedy. and i am one of these humanitarian interventionists. i believe that the united states international community can intervene to save lives, we should. it pained me deeply to see what was going on in syria. by the same toning, the united states doesn't have any -- token, the united states doesn't have any interests in syria. this is going to be a very big problem. this is going to be a very big deal. and it is not clear that it is necessary for us to do so. it is not clear that it is worth doing so.
the issue i was watching is the question spillover. would the syrian civil war affect other parts of the middle east in the same way that it starts to affect our interests. i think we got our answer on june 10 where the spillover became so bad it helped to reignite civil war in iraq. i'm not suggesting that the problems in iraq were caused by syria. quite the contrary. anyone who knows what i've been writing over the years, this problem is entirely internal to iraq. there is no game saying the simple fact that the group abandon iraq, moved to syria, jest it aed in syria and brought iraq to its current impasse. that leads me to conclude that yes, the time has come, the united states should be taking a more active role in syria. i actually have a piece in the new foreign affairs that lays out in much greater detail what i've been talking about there.
what i have in mind in just a nutshell, but really will have to wait until the foreign affairs piece comes out because it is a long argument and it requires a lot of historical detail to explain it is in effect what we distant with the owites in the bosnia civil what brought us to dayton was the corrosion military that was able to defeat the serbs. this is the problem that we have in syria now. the jihaddists and the regime that have the greatest military capacity. they will continue to fight. we will not want to support either of them. so the question arises as we did in croatia to a certain extent and in iraq 2007-2009, and actually in vietnam from 1968-1972, could we build a conventional nonpartisan syrian military? one that is capable of defeating
both the regime and the jihaddists? i think the evidence available is yes, we could. i think that the problems that everyone has identified are important problems, but they are also not irremedyable. in fact, we have dealt with them in the past and have done so effectively without boots on the ground. it would require advisors and more money than we are currently spending. more than $500 million is more than adequate to get this program well off the ground underway. i'm not sure what they are doing with the $500 million. i know the pentagon has been pushing for it for quite sometime. it is something that would require greater commitment than what we have been doing so far. it is also the only option out there that actually offers a way of solving the problems in syria. sbeast freeman spoke of a diplomatic solution. the only way get a diplomatic solution is the change the
calculus on the battle field. until that happens, nothing our diplomats do is going to make any difference. the question is do we want to support one of the two loathsome groups or build a new force that we could get behind and help bring it to an end? we have done that before. i think we can do it again in syria. while it is not a great option, it is the least bad. >> yes. realists would say we don't have national interests in syria. when obama spoke about it he said our national interests in syria is how it impacts syria's neighbors, our partners. chaz, i don't think it is useful frankly to go over what could have been done when it wasn't done. it is a little bit like raking the benghazi murder of our
ambassador. what are we going to learn from that? absolutely nothing. i would say since the question has been raised, two things is we did that brought us to this path were first to say right at only must ssad not go but will go. it told the opposition the super power will make sure that this bad leader is deposed. assad overreact himself looking at the arab uprisings and what happened to mube rack and unisia and what happened and yemen and iran and so on. he looked at this and panicked
and he determined to nip the whole thing in the bud and he used force. that escalated the thing very quickly. especially because there were people very happy to supply weapons to counter him. we made the mistake of believing had been se mubarak overthrown that assad would go. in terms of sectarian interests, ethnic interests, balances within the sunni community, secular versus religious, we're and y more complicated assad's winning. i would say the first thing is stop taking sides in syria. try to lower the level of the fighting. reduce the flow of arms.
talk to the iranians, the russians. talk to the saudis. ask ourselves to lower the level of the filing, not raise it. this is i guess the second principle in a way, which is don't add fuel to the fire. what we are proposing to do since there are no effective moderate forces in syria is scour the bars and brothels in the world, beat their teaspoons into swords and send them over the border for training to use reforged teaspoons. i don't think this is going to work. operations of this kind are not worth the paper that the plan is written on. what are u.s. interests? israel. israel is going to be vastly worst off as the jihadi area along its border than it has been with the atrocious
dictatorship, a very cautious a ernment of assad turkey, nato member to whom we are commilted by treaty and whose interests have to be taken into account. i would say the main interest now, just as iraq has broken up, syria has broken up. the kurds have left. they are no longer under central control. syria has broken into at least two other major parts, more than that, actually. and i'm not sure, just to go back to amin's point that syria ever was a state in the western sense of the word and certainly the creations are all falling apart under the impact of what has happened. perhaps what is required to reate a state is centralized
patronage. if you are in baghdad and you e hanged out large es to kurds, to pay attention to you, if you leave them alone to make their separate negotiations with the turks, they don't. if you are in damascus and handing out largess, you the sole sort then people pay attention to you. we have the example of lebanon, which is a very weak state where the largess is not controlled by the government but by various factions, hebs being the main one. that seems to be the model that is emerging, which is one of statelets, states within states maybe within the region. in any event, i think we should be very, very cautious. 160,000 syrians have died. does that count for nothing?
nobody has mentioned it. you know, this is -- there are 10 million syrians displaced. 5 million syrian kids who are not getting an education. there are 9-year-old girls being sold into marriage because their parents can't save them any other way. doesn't that count for something? i think it should, especially because dealing with it is key to dealing with what the main problem is, which is the growth of islamist extremism and its establishment of the territorial secure area in which a lot further action and the change in name in isis from iraq and syria to the islamic state was an indication of a global ambition of the four objectives that group sets hitting us here is right up at the top. we should be concerned. i don't think that state's going
last. i think it will fall on its own weight and abuses. i think we should learn something from containment in that regard. george canon, 1946-1947 argued if we contain soviet union, it would eventually fall of its own defect. isis, whatever it calls itself, will do the same. but i don't think we can imagine that the current state structures are goingings to to be there much longer. it is not secure. not a secure assumption. the world right now, it matters when policy is affecting the crisis. some of us doo feel it. that is not the most important point unfortunately. it's a reality but it doesn't go
through. i would highlight turkey, but beyond that, i think something that we need to look at syria, there is a difference, just recently, last week, i think there was a conference with the mayors of dutch and belgian cities. there is a lot of people who carry the same pass ports that ofdo, some of them were born mixed european background, they are american but not as many as europeans. i know there is there is a lot of preventative measures but there is a new dimension we didn't have where they put most of them looked -- came from the region. here you have a dimension that these europeans are very worried about that-the-worry of syria coming back, whether or not this continues or not.
if it continues, they go back and forth. if it doesn't continue, they actually -- come back, export, if you would, this ideology or at least the destructiveness thereof of the streets of whatever country they came. glong the modern world keck be solated. -- we can be isolated. i don't know what russia is now. look what's happening in ukraine. there is a collective approach. turkey is very much affected. other countries in the region or europe that may have to take up a bit more of the slack. that is where the leadership comes in. just on a very security aspect
of it how to collectively bring them beyond -- beyond the -- meeting, whatever, geneva, it happens, to have something doable. not a dream. you can't dream solutions. i think we have to be a bit more realistic. thank you. >> i'm not a member of the humanitarian industrial complex. and i think this has to be approached very, very realistically. i think ken correctly said that what happens on the ground is the you might determinant -- ultimate determinant of almost everything. i think we have the ability to affect that but we don't have the political strategy for using the way we affect it. i think we need to concur with the neighbors and be prepared to act internationally. not to defer to particular syrian factions.
>> two quick points. one relevant to the mythical nature of the moderate syria opposition. the fact is people in fighters move around. ordinance they use moves around, often the alegion thans any one fighter has to any one group changes rapidly according to who is paying him, giving him food and so on. so the vetting aid sounds nice theory but in practice is impossible. the other point concerns the backward looking at where all of these things began. i would just remind us that this feared group now calling itself he islamic state began in iraq as al qaeda in iraq and did not exist before we unleashed the forces that we did when we went in and started the war in 2003. >> the idea of moderate
insurgency is a contradiction in terms. if they are moderates, they are not going to rebel. if they rebel, they are not oing to be moderate. >> yesterday the negotiations with iran concluded without an agreement. and they've been extended for another four months. it surprises me again that there's not a question here bout this. so i will ask, what kind of terms have been agreed upon so far, what kinds of terms are necessary over the next four months and what do we do if we succeed and what do we do if we fail? if we fail, ken, could you talk about deterrents and con cainment as options and --
containment as options and what will the role of the saudis be in the region under those circumstances? and if we succeed, how much opportunity is there for us to work with iran in various venues such as geneva over the syria question and how will other partners who have been our partners for a long time and who are concerned about our policies react to this new role that iran might have? anyone? >> i think the -- extension has something to do with the fact that we have an election november 4. perhaps i'm too cynical to bring that up. but we will have a changed circumstance presumably as a
result of that election and either more or less flexibility. it has always been hard for me to imagine whatever agreement might be reached with iran surviving the israel lobby and the congress. so there is a connection whether we like it or not. that is the first observation. the second is that what seems to be at issue here is the quantity, the velocity of enrichment, not thester fuges so much. -- centrifuges. what they do is the bone of contention with iran wanting to increase its enrichment activity to fuel the reactor that the russians are supposed to fuel. but which iran doesn't trust
hem to fuel. iran wanting it to be five years and maybe seven and wanting a much longer term. i'll just make one general observation. tom, when you open the session, you refer to multilateral sanctions against iran. there are some u.n. authorized sanctions. but almost all the sanctions are in fact unilaterally concerted between the united states and our european allies. they are enforced by swift,s which the clearinghouse for dollars that operates in i think belgium. and they reflect our sovereign control of the dollar. of that control,
particularly in the case of iran to disrupt the oil trade for india, china, korea, and other major consumers of iranian oil has been mighty annoying to those countries. and it has driven them to begin to consider ways of avoiding clearance through swift and new york. the new york banking system. brazil, week, the -- russia, china, south africa, agreed on the establishment of a new development bank to parallel the world bank. a new currency reserve to
parallel the i.m.f. along with this, they are all agreeing on new currency clearance procedures which avoid the dollar. so i would draw two conclusions from this. one, i think we're cooking our own goose by abusing our currency, treating it as a solely national currency when it is the international currency and that gives us a great deal of power in the world. we are dismantling that power. second, we cannot assume that in the future five, 10 years from now, iran will not be able to circumvent any sanctions that is ugs and
hat has arisen over c.i.a. spying, n.s.a. spying and the issue of ukraine. unknowns here.with a lot of we need to be cautious. may inal observation, iran or may not have the nuclear weapons program. our intelligence people say that it doesn't. it's clearly building the capability like japan has to go nuclear. i don't think that is stoppable. so the question is how to deal with it. if we try to stop it, we'll end up not stopping it and we will end up with a greater risks of iranian nuclear breakout than we
would under an agreement that is monitoring internationally. i very much hope there will be an agreement but i'm not optimistic. >> let me comment more directly on the negotiations themselves which he mentioned with regard to the november time frame and how congress works into that has been mentioned before the idea that the lame duck session after an election but before a possible republican majority in the senate might be the best time. there is no question that congsal opposition influenced by lobbies we're all familiar with is probably the biggest problem that the obama administration faces even more so than the tough negotiating of the iranians in carrying this through to conclusion. issueeless it's a simpler dealing with a lot of technical issues. in the preliminary agreement
that was reached last november, the prospect of needing an extension was built right into the agreement. it's not some big surprise. there has been a lot of progress made by all reports, although we don't get direct indications from the negotiators about specific terms which itself is a good sign. if we had more leaks that would be a bad sign. in terms of the overall shape of an agreement, i think we got an excellent idea with the preliminary agreement that was reached last november because that is an outline for the complete agreement where the key provisions are number one enhanced vigorous more frequent inspection and monitoring and under a final agreement it would be even more complete and enhanced. that in my view is probably the single biggest reason to get the agreement so we know exactly what they are doing with their declared programs. serious restrictions on the
amount and extent and degree of ukraine yum enrichment. and in that respect, if you remember mr. netanyahu cartoon bomb at the general assembly. that's an excellent prop because what the joint plan of action did was as my friend joe puts it drained the bomb. what the iranians have done and what they have confirmed they have done is live up to their agreement of taking the 20% enriched uranium and i did lut it and they made the furtherer commitment of speeding up the using of the objection exide to make fuel plates for their reactor which puts it farther out of reach with regard to proliferation concern. there have also been formulas that have addressed the reactor which appears to involve
redesign which makes it far less of an effective plutonium producer. we have the outline there. the fact we have that outline and it's more than just an outline, it's an agreement that's been observed by both side over these last six months is a bit of a further challenge for the obama administration in selling a final agreement because to put it bluntly we got the better side of the deal last november. we got the key provisions that drains the bomb and in return the iranians got minor sanctions relief, airplane parts, kemchals, trade in gold and a small fraction, access to a very small fraction of their frozen assets overseas. tall big sanctions with regard to banking and oil are still non-mouseplace and as presumed treasury department briefer put it when they were
briefing the reporters friday night put it we will come down like aton of bricks as they have always come down as aton of bricks on anyone who deems it possible to violate the sanctions. iran is still hurting economically. where the challenge comes in, to the extent more concessions need to be made, we're going to need to make more because they have already made the big one, we have not made the big one in terms of sanctions relief. one last comment in terms of how congress fits into this which is why it might not be a matter of how we fine tune it and we tend lame duck period. i expect the administration and its partners will still be holding out for a fairly extended transitional period in which the sanctions would be relieved only gradually.
and that the administration even without the congressional opposition would be looking for a formula for sanctions relief in which turnover first year or two -- over the first year or two the president could take through executive action. and it would only be later on as the agreement is upheld, if it is upheld by the iranians as well as our side that the greater sanctions relief would come into effect and at some point congress is going to have to act but it doesn't have to be in the first few months. >> i agree with everything that paul said. i want to address the other question if i could, what if my pess mitch is unjustified and we do get an agreement, what could we do with iran? one issue we have to deal with in the future is afghanistan. we will not be there forever and
iran will always have a border with afghanistan. in the past we were able to work with iran quite effectively to keep the lid on in afghanistan. i think we're going to have to doodown that again. i think there is a -- i think if we have an improved relationship with iran and we exploit that, we can help to dampen the sectarian war in the middle east by helping to broker a better relationship between them. in a sense that relationship has become so bad in part because of our perceived enablement ofry had, we are the backer security gaurn or the, that allows them to do things they might not
otherwise risk as israel does and i think we could play a more constructive role if we had a relationship with iran that enabled us to do that. it might also help to find some resolution to the civil strife where we have an important naval headquarters and a long standing relationship that we want to preserve. but i think we would find other issues as well. e major thing probably is if the jihaddist that now exist does not collapse of it own defects, we're going to need iran's help to deal with it.
russia will do nig in its power to keep iran simmering, not boiling because it's too close. if you look t at map of iran it's the only country that has access to the caucuses and that's a major ramification in the hydro carbon in the world. if iran were to come into the norm si, u.s. or other western states can revamp their pipeline which exist but need a lot of repair. they wall have to go through the check point and go straight
there and gulf of the arabian sea out. that breaks russia's monly over gas east and west. there will be a north south way. i do not believe under any circumstances mr. putin will allow that. whatever we think about iran we have to think about this aspect that is very important. i don't think russia will play games. they know how to play this game and they have played it for a long time. that's one aspect we have to look at. number two is south arabia. somehow we -- russia will satisfy half of ukraine. they say we let this go. at that point saudi arabia is one of the most important aspect rses, not the amount of oil we get but the exclusive power to control the markets. there is no other country in the world that can balance the market of oil and gas should
there be a crisis or if there is a natural disaster or any other disaster. they are the only country that the market. this allows saudi arabia to get away with a lot of thing they are. everybody talks about 24% of reserves. it is how the market is manipulated. and this is incredible. that doesn't matter whether we have fracking or not. there are only two countries in the world that can change that. if you remember the good old days we go to iraq one idea was iraq comes in and a nice guy comes in and they sell it off and democracy will take over. one reason was to break this impass of one country controlling oil and gas market. the second country and the most important country after saudi
arabia is iran. normal iran coming into the market breaks that monopoly. this will make these two countries at odds. if we want to think about future, i'm not saying it's impossible. i'm an optimist. the question we have to look at is if you want to go forward, these are the big things, the nuclear issue is very complicated. but the day after russia is very important and saud day rabe i can't. >> the united states has destroyed iraq as a balancer for iran leaving our forces as the
only means of balancing iran hence we are stuck in the gulf. that is a very uncomfortable position not only for us but for our gulf arab friends. i could see in the future precisely because of the historic hostility or tension between russia and iran and perhaps adding in the oil factor that if we didn't have the syrian issue as an irritant, russia would be a big factor in e gulf arab strategy for balancing iran. that's the first point. second point is iran and saudi arabia have always been at odds in opec on price. the reason is iran has a finite supply of oil. it has by the way since the revolution grossly mismanaged its reservoirs, it's oil
reservoirs, damaged them, it's potential to stimulate production is limited. saudi arabia has always wanted to strike a balance that is high enough to finances welfare system that it provides on one hand and not so high as to kill . mand for oil i'm optimistic it will continue. there is another country that is disturbing the global oil market and that is the united states to very used fracking
good effect. i think that is probably a very limited phenomenon, maybe 10 to 15 years. but at the moment at least it's an important factor in the global oil market. saudi arabia has huge potential in these areas too. we're talking about a very different energy world looking down the road than the one we've been acustomed to. >> leaving this question of oil aside, the saudi arabians and their neighbors view iran's agenda in the region as anemkl to theirs and they've been expressing concern about our policies and in fact are concerned in pursuit of a nuclear agreement with iran we
are going to acquiesce in the region. is there something we can do to ease that concern for them anticipating possible success with iran in these talks? and secondly, their role will be quite important if there is no because we have to go to containment because we are already basing forces and we have to convince them we are willing to use them? >> the last point has me the least concerned. if we don't have an agreement, the gulf states are going to be frightened of iran and want us there. there are other aspects worth talking about. we need to recognize that even
if we fail to get an agreement with iran, it doesn't mean that the negotiations have to stop. they may take a very different form though. it may take an indirect form or informal form. they can be both cooperative and antagonistic if necessary. we need to recognize our goals aren't going to end and we're going to have to pursue them in a different fashion. there is a reason iran came to these talks in the first place. we don't quite know what it is but i would tally up four different rationals for iran to get involved in talks with us the way they hadn't wanted to previously. they are first a result of all the sanctions and a fear the sanctions were causing internal unrest and they were sapping iran's strength, sapping its power. second i think it was a fear of the chinese in particular but to alesser extent some other
countries, the indians joining the sanctions. it's worth remembering in 2010 before the passage of resolution 1929 the chinese went to the iranians and said the americans are giving you everything you need. you should accept their offer. and when the iranians didn't, the chinese then joined us in the passage of resolution 1929 had is the corner stone of all the international sanctions against iran. it points the chinese have been in a different place than where the russians are and where they are portrayed. the russians don't wan them to acquire a nuclear weapon. they don't want to us strike them either but they have tried hard to move them in the right direction. they recognize that. they are concerned if they didn't come to the negotiating table and try to get the sanctions lifted that the
chinese would fall into line with us. the third i think he is terrified of the u.s. soft war against him. he believes several members have pointed out that the u.s. is out to get him and he believes we're actively trying to do. so it's clear from a variety of different pieces of information and evidence he believes we could do a lot more if we chose to do so. part of what he seems to be looking to do is can he turn off or mitigate the u.s. soft war. then of course the last one out there, i think it's the least important but worth noting is perhaps some kind of a fear of american or israeli strike. i think the truth is they had written that off. they wouldn't be at the table if they thought we were going to hit them. under those circumstances they would definitely want a nuclear weapon. but it's out there. they set up a process that could move forward things that we
might want to try to employee in a negotiation even if an indirect one with the iranians moving forward. even if the negotiations break down, the president's red line is still there. it the right one. we don't want the iranians to have a nuclear weapon. there is a world of difference between the iranians in their current situation and the iranians with a tighter breakout window and having an actual nuclear weapon. it is e nor 340us from the perspective of crisis management and regional stability. that's where we need to focus our efforts. if we don't get the deal, can we keep them from crossing the red line. the reasons that brought them to the table create things we might offer to the iranians and things we might threaten them should they choose to cross those
lines. >> and there is a whole other set of issues out there that is too big to talk about in these circumstances. whether we get an agreement or not, whether we can keep them from aquiring nuclear weapons or not, we're going to have a whole slue of areas where our interest will clash and areas they will coins side with iran's. that doesn't wednesday negotiations. it would be nice to get that deal and it may open up greater cooperation between the united states and iran. even if we don't get it it doesn't mean we don't have ways of negotiating with the iranians and hopefully finding peaceful olutions to our differences. >> in the time that remains, let's discuss the issue that obama did not discuss in his
west point speech which is the palestinian israeli conflict. to give you a flavor of the kinds of questions that are oming from the floor, they are whose interest are we safe guarding chand comes first? are we not responsible for this situation given our support for srael? that's the flavor. i believe it was paul speak of political courage if we're going to deal with that issue. i'd like the panelists to comment on this. before they do, i would say actually president obama said
the resolution of the israeli palestinian issue was a national security issue to the united tates. because it results in terror. he said resolving the conflict would ease those conditions and make it easier to negotiate with iran. once you say it's a national security interest and then you ought to succeed in your efforts. and if you don't, then we need to talk about how we're going to be in jeep i did. what should we be doing to bring these parties to a conclusion and agreement because clearly it doesn't seem that the palestinians are going to accept being occupied and being
blockaded. they are going to resist. and if their resistance is always met with this kind of force and these kinds of kass alties, we shouldn't be too surprised if some people do lame us. >> i think it's clearly to destroy the unity that's formed in palestinian. the see consequence of events began with the murder of three young boys. incidently responsibility for that was taken by the islamic state, hamas denied responsibility. it was politically convenient for mr. netanyahu to attribute the murders to hamas which he did. that was followed by round up of
roughly 600 palestinians associated with hamas in the west bank. two houses were destroyed. eight palestinians died in the roundup. there was an israeli raid in gaza. that drew rocket fire from gaza. rocket fire was used as a justification for the current operation. the problem here also is problem of war termination. the so-called truce offer was concocted between israel, egypt and the united states without reference to the other side. not only is that insulting but it's inherently unworkable. opposite of diplomacy. mr. kerri has been in egypt, talking to whom we don't know because talking to the egyptians who are the enemies of the people in gaza now is not going
to do a damn thing. it is a nice show of activity which seems to be our specialty these days. but the prospects for it producing anything are extremely poor. how will this end? let's not forget that there is a broader context in the palestinian camp -- by the way, the so-called peace process which concluded in april i think once and for all because i think people have had it with u.s. mediation which wasn't mediation . that process was fraudulent in no small measure because the palestinians were not represented there except through the palestinian authority which
has no constitutional mandate to rule which lost the last elections it competed in and which is essentially in the employee of the israeli occupation with subsidies from the united states. not represented there were the people of gaza, the palestinian refugees or the palestinian. >> there is a basic rule of negotiation which is that if you wish to achieve a result that is worth anything, those with the capacity to wreck the result as well as those who must sign on to it have to agree or at least be neutralized. that condition was not even considered. so i don't know how all this ends but the broader context is that the palestinians as a whole are moving toward law fair, the use of international law, ternational organizations to
put squeeze on israel, the international court of justice, other instrumentalties and i might add they are not bound anymore than the bricks have turned out to be by existing organizations. they can call add hock conferences and organize boycotts, sanctions and disinvestment without reference to the united nations. so i think we are headed into a period in which our defense in israel which i'm sure we will continue is going to become considerably more difficult and there will be no resolution of the issues on the ground in the oreseeable future. couple of just add a
other observations in terms of hamas' point of view. hamas was observing the ceasefire after the lastlesser round of violence in november 201. they continued to observe it even though there were some incidents initiated by the israelis along the border. it was after the kidnappings and murders and the israeli response which included besides forcible action along the gaza border which involved some god shed, it also included the wholesale rounding up of the usual hamas suspects numbering in the hundreds, a number of whom were the ones who had just been released not all that long ago the deal that freed the corporal. and so this was seen as a direct reanythinging of the deal
certainly in the absence of any hamas responsibility. this whole issue is so huge that the larger problem involves those issues of political courage that have been wrong with us for several administrations and several decades. i would just make one other point again putting on my hat as an old counter terrorist official and you eluded to it, tom, in terms of the president's remarks. both the unresolved nature of this conflict and the extremely close identification of the u.s. ith one side of it is indeed a major factor in radicalization throughout not just the middle east but beyond and certainly in the modern world. one often hears in response to that the strawman kind of argument even if we resolve this, that wouldn't clean up all
the other problems in the middle east and there still would be a whole host of other reasons people become radicals. that is, of course, true. it does not refute the fact that this issue has been a big one. and if you look at the statements of captured terrorists who have been interrogated as well as the propaganda that reflects where they can most appeal for support, this is the thing that comes up again and again and again and again. and until that is changed, we ave a major factor stoking anti-u.s. radicalization. just to add to that one thought. 9/11, if you read the statement by the perpetrators, this issue israel palestinian, contrary to the mythology was very prom nantly cited as motivating
that. it is not the case this is a trivial matter or as ken began this session, that it can be grown graded in -- downgraded in importance and ignored. it touches directly on the security interests of all americans. >> i would say something about the topic that i said perhaps these add think hock support of democracy gave hamas legislate massey it has as a government. that's why i mentioned we have to be care to feel promote deck si or elections or whatever aspect of democracy -- the reason i talked about states is gaza a state or not? they won the election.
these go deeper. that's why i raised it. when we go and make democracy a pillar of u.s. fundamental -- fundamental pillar of u.s. policy and support and allow a group such as hamas to run for elections and they gain legislate ma si how you take that back out. therefore the problem goes back to my argument that to create these aspects without proper ground work which is a long term aspect, democracy doesn't just fall out from the sky this. is one of those ramifications which i think we need to look at. and dwhrooned, i think on the other aspect, i think while this say very important issue, i still believe that the importance of it again today we can't see it with what is going on there but when you look at
what happened during up risings or what happened in egypt, the same egyptian papers headlines are blaming hamas for almost everything this. comes from the spectrum of egyptian newspapers. yes, it's there. but i think there is an exaggeration of the importance of it. 'm not diminishing it but it goes up and down depending on what goes on on ground. >> i don't think legitimacy can be conferred by outside forces or foreign powers. elections are not the only source of legitimacy. there can be other sources as the middle east illustrates. but if an election legislate mieses a government and we threat as inconvenient and invalidate the result of the
election, we are at a minimum not being true to our own values. >> and another issue is how the plo and palestinian authority have been -- how their legitimacy and credibility and stature have been diminished by failing negotiations for more than 20 years. i'm struck by the interview the two administration officials gave after the end of these talks in april which they said the primary reason for the failure of the talks was continued israeli settlement billingd. we know what the primary obstacle is and we say it's in our national interest, what should we do about it?
>> i think he tchoovered in his remarks with regard to what is not nonl u.s. interest but in israeli interest in terms of the jewish state living in peace and prosperity forever. the current course doesn't do t. >> we just heard from four very experienced people and i want to thank them. i thank you for coming. lease visit our website if you want to watch this video in a day or two or videos of our previous conferences or read articles from the journal. thank you very much for coming. >> our coverage of the malaysian airline shot down in ukraine
continues over the next hour beginning with president obama. in about 10 minutes part of this afternoon's meeting of the security council which passed a resolution calling for an international investigation into the tragedy. and you'll hear from david cameron, british prime minister. >> a couple of events to tell ou about tomorrow on our companion network.
>> this weekend on book tv. >> i thought it would be compeling to tell the story of a black family and white family with the same name who come from the same place and follow them through slavery, through the civil rights movement up until today and compare and contrast. saturday night at 10:00 eastern on c-span2 afterwards. >> president obama has called on prorussian separate nist ukraine to stop impeding the investigation into the malaysian airline crash.
he warned russia it continuing to isolate itself from the international community this. is a little less than 10 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. i want to make a brief statement of the tragedy in ukraine. before i do i want to note that secretary kerry has departed for the middle east. as i have said many times, israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from hamas. as a result of its operations, israel has already done significant damage to their terrorist infrastructure in gaza. i have also however said that we have serious concerns about the rising number of palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of israeli lives. that is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the
international community to bring about a cease-fire that ended he fighting and can stop the deaths of an and civilians, both n gaza and israel. so, secretary kerry will meet with allies and partners. i have instructed him to push for the immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the november 2012 cease-fire agreement between israel and hamas in gaza. the work will not be easy. obviously, there are enormous passions involved in this, and some very difficult strategic issues involved. nevertheless, i have asked john to do everything he can to help facilitate a cessation of hostilities. e don't want to see any more civilians getting killed. with respect to you train, it has now been four days since the
light was shot down over territory held by russian backed separatists in ukraine. over the last several days our hearts have been absolutely broken as we learn more about the extraordinary and beautiful lives that were lost. men, women, and children. infants who were killed so suddenly and senselessly. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families around the world, who are going through just unimaginable grief. i have had the opportunity to speak to a number of leaders around the world whose citizens were lost on this flight. all of them remain in a state of shock, but frankly also in a state of outrage. our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost. investigating exactly what happened. putting forward the fact. we have to make sure that the truth gets out and that accountability exists.
international investigators are on the ground. hey have been organized. i have sent teams. other countries have sent teams. they are prepared and organized to conduct what should be the kinds of protocols and scouring, collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this. what they need right now is immediate and full access to the crash site. they need to be able to conduct a prompt, full, and unimpeded and transparent investigation. recovery personnel have to do he solemn and sacred work over covering the remains of those who were lost. the ukrainian president has declared a demilitarized zone around the crash site. as i said before, international teams are already in lace, prepared to conduct the investigation and recover the remains of those who have been
lost. unfortunately, russian backed separatist in the area continued to block the investigation. they have repeatedly prevented international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage. as investigators approached, they fired their weapons into the air. separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. all of this begs the question -- what, exactly, are they trying to hide? moreover, these russian backed separatists are removing bodies from the crash site. often times without the care hat we would normally expect from a tragedy like this. this is an insult to those who have lost loved ones. this is the kind of behavior
that has no place in the community of nations. now, russia has extraordinary influence over the separatist. no one denies that. russia has urged them on. russia has trained them. we know that russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons, including antiaircraft weapons. key separatist leaders are russian citizens. so, given the direct influence over the separatist, russia and president putin in particular has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. that is the least that they can do. president putin says that he supports a full and fair investigation. i appreciate those words, but they have to be supported by actions. the burden is on russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full, unimpeded access to the
crash site. they are responsible for the safety of the investigators oing their work. along with their allies and partners, we will be working on this issue at the united nations today. more broadly, as i have said throughout this crisis, and the crisis in ukraine generally, and i have said this directly to president putin as well as publicly, my focus is finding a diplomatic resolution within ukraine. i believe that that can still happen. that is my preference today and it will continue to be my preference, but if russia continues to violate the sovereignty of ukraine and back these separatist and these separatists become more dangerous and are risk not only to the people inside ukraine but the broader international community, russia will only further puzzle -- isolate itself. to pivot away from the strategy they have been taken. respecting the right of the ukrainian people to make decisions about their own lives.
time is of the essence. our friends and allies need to be able to recover those who were lost. that is the least we can do. the least that decency demands. families deserve to be able to lay their loved ones to rest with dignity. the world deserves to know exactly what happened. and the people of ukraine deserve to determine their own future. thank you. >> the u.n. security council approved an international investigation into the details of the malaysian airliner shot down in ukraine. it came after dutch investigators were allowed to respect the remains of some of the victims. it calls for a halt on
activities at the crash site by ilitary. >> thank you, mr. president. the adoption of this resolution is a decisive step by the security council. it is an ambiguous -- an unambiguous response by the international community to a deplorable act, the shooting down of malaysian airlines flight mh17, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. k belgium, canada, netherlands, philippines, and the united kingdom. these governments cosponsored this resolution today. for that, i am deeply grateful. a number of victims were dual nationals of other countries.
they were all innocent people on a commercial aircraft. the plane was shot down over territory controlled by separatists in eastern ukraine. this is an absolute outrage. our nation is devastated by the loss of so many australians. 37 people who called australia home. they were traveling home from europe. a couple, both teachers, on holiday to celebrate the retirement. a 25-year-old traveling in europe, like so many young australians do. yesterday i spoke to a husband and wife from perth who had been on a family holiday in europe. they had decided to stay on for only a couple of days while their three children, aged 12, 10, and eight, had to return to school in australia.
so they went on ahead with their grandfather on flight mh17. the parents are inconsolable in their grief. among the members were scientists, medical researchers, and doctors traveling to the international aids conference, which was yesterday. people who dedicated their lives to helping others. our nation mourns the death of all the victims. i cannot begin to fathom the pain and anguish their families and friends are experiencing. but grief is accompanied by a outrage as we witness re-task -- a grotesque violations of the crash site. this demands a response. that is why australia has brought this the solution to the security council. today, the security council has responded.
our resolution demands that armed groups in control of the crash sites provide safe access immediately to allow for the recovery of the bodies and that these groups stop any actions that compromise the integrity of the crash site. this is imperative. there must be a cease-fire in the immediate area around the site. the victims must be treated with dignity, brought back to their homes, and laid to rest. all parties are required to fully cooperate with these efforts. russia must use its influence over the separatists to ensure this. russia must also use its influence to bring the conflict in ukraine to an end. our resolution also demands a full, thorough, and independent in a national investigation into this act. we must have answers.
we must have justice. we owe it to the victims and their families to determine what happened and who was responsible. the resolution acknowledges the investigation is already underway. it commands that safe, secure, full, and unrestricted access to the crash site be admitted so investigators can continue their work. it is despicable this access is not being provided. it is an affront to be victims and their families. all states, armed groups, everyone must who operate with the investigation. we welcome the u.n. secretary general office of assistance to the investigation. the united nations will continue to have a crucial role. mr. president, the message from this counsel to those who were
responsible for this atrocity is definitive -- council to those who were responsible for this atrocity is definitive. you will be held to account for your actions. australia will do everything we can to ensure the arbitrators are brought to justice. -- the perpetrators are brought to justice. we have an overriding objective to ensure dignity, respect, and justice for those killed on mh17. we will not rest until this is done. we will not rest until we bring them home. >> thank you. it calls for a thorough investigation into the horrific downing of flight 17. when 298 civilians are killed, we agree that we must stop at
nothing to determine who was responsible into bring them -- and bring them to justice. are joined by the dutch in australian ministers. we extend our deepest condolences to those countries, the families of the people they represent an all the people who lost loved ones on that plane. today givese here even greater urgency to our call for the dignified return of the victims in our pursuit of truth and justice. as we reflect on the immeasurable loss suffered by the families around the world, we are not only outraged at the attack itself, we are horrified and enraged by what has happened
, by the clear intention of some to obstruct an investigation. even after adopting this resolution, it is worth asking if there is really consensus this crime merit an immediate and impartial investigation -- why did we feel the need to meet today in order to demand one? we came together because that everyone has been supporting a real investigation into this crime. if they were, international experts would have had unimpeded access to the crime scene and all wreckage would have been left where it had fallen. that has not happened. in stead, armed thugs have walked around the sites with little regard of where they stepped. we have heard the sound of debris -- all of this needing to be carefully preserved -- crunching beneath the. we have seen evidence carted away from the site. all around the world, the risk
similar reaction to the footage. stop, those are people. those are people's lives, we all said. the passengers aboard malaysian airlines flight 17 had nothing to do with the conflict in eastern ukraine. they were families on vacation. students returning home from abroad. researchers combating a deadly disease. they deserve to be treated with dignity and their families are crying out for closure. we condemn the actions of the separatist to control these sites. there is one party from which we have heard too little condemnation. russia has been outspoken on other matters. russian officials have publicly
insinuated there has been too little responsibility for the crash. russia has begun to blame ukraine for the missile itself, although the missile came from russian territory that russia knows well ukraine is not reclaimed. but even if russia believes that ukraine is involved, surely president putin would have told the separatist leaders to maintain a hermetically sealed crime scene? we welcome russia's support for today's resolution, but no resolution would have been necessary if russia used its leverage with the separatist on thursday. or friday or even yesterday. it turns out only this morning, coincidentally the very morning
the security council was meeting, did president putin order a public call to ensure the security of international experts. however, president putin still did not direct his call to the separatists who threaten the experts and over whom he has tremendous influence. resident poroshenko, by contrast, has done everything he can to allow access to the crime scene. he has been careful to allow investigators, hailing their independence. russia's muteness sends a message to the illegal armed groups it supports. we have your backs. this is the message russia since by providing weapons, massing thousands of troops at the ukrainian border. today, we have taken a step
toward combating impunity. the resolution provides clear directions to safeguard and uncover the facts, however inconvenient those proved to be. we are not naïve. if russia is not part of the solution, it will continue to be part of the problem. the last six months, russia has seized ukrainian territory and ignored repeated requests by the international community to de-escalate, all to preserve influencing ukraine, a country that has long made clear its desire to maintain constructive ties with moscow. russia must recchi knives -- must recognize that no zero-sum game battle with the west can justify the lives lost or the pain ukrainian families experience daily as a result of this needless conflict. today, three dutch investigators accessed the site.
investigators are trying to hold this up as proof of good faith, but this is an extremely complex and time sensitive crime scene. in that context, letting in a few investigators here or there simply will not cut it. access must the immediate and full, period. a staged managed approach is a form of obstruction. russia can and do this. russia can unequivocally condemn the tampering with the bodies that the site and demand that the separatists adopt the cease-fire in the area around the crash site, as ukraine has done. russia can sit down with president poroshenko, and russia can take back all of the surface
to air missiles and heavy weaponry it has delivered. these would not only be important steps to achieving accountability and achieving justice for the victims. it would constitute a long overdue sign that russia is willing to take steps to end this deadly crisis. thank you. you, mr. president. on behalf of the russian federation, may i once again convey our condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives. there needs to be totally impartial independence of the disaster. the is the target of
resolution which we supported. clarification of the context with the organized participation of all those ready to shed light on the truth. -- the blackvided box should be provided end on the ground, there needs to be necessary conditions created for access to expert teams. everything will be done to guarantee the full security of international experts at the crash site. buy them, there is the humanitarian corridors. there are already representatives from donetsk, the ukrainian minister or emergency situations, it but that is not enough. there needs to be a full complement of experts in line with the international commission. russia, for its part, stands
ready to provide any assistance in organizing and conducting international investigations. russian that bodies have been provided with the necessary instructions. we stand ready to provide experts. however, there can be no jumping to conclusions or political statements here. what is going on today is absolutely admissible. it seems that kiev has taken the opportunity to step up its punitive operations in the eastern part of the country. indiscriminate artillery and airstrikes are hitting cities and killing civilians. who in this room can confirm that kiev will be acting with restraint -- i am wondering what strange significance you would give to this? sir, we do understand how people
feel who have lost their family, because russia itself found itself in that tragic situation in october 2001. and antiaircraft missile downed a passenger flight. 78 people were killed. the circumstances became clear right after the accident, and were affirmed by international experts. to this day, ukraine has refuted its legal responsibility here -- to this day, ukraine has refuted its legal responsibility here. it would be frivolous to give kiev a leading role in the investigation. during the investigation, ukraine is going to have to answer a number of questions regarding the activities of its air controllers in the region, why one of ukrainian batteries
systems was -- ukrainian battery's systems was in an area controlled by the rebels, why, after the downing of the flight, was the battery hastily removed from that area, why, on 17 june, were ukrainian antiaircraft radars working at an all-time high? these are a number of questions which have been set forth by the ministry of defense of russia and which should be answered -- which the international investigators are going to have to know about. for now kiev is only providing [indiscernible] to the security council. for an example, they controversial recordings by the commanders of the rebels, which then seemed to be touched up negotiations which had taken place before july 17. the minister of internal affairs of ukraine put forth a video which somehow showed a